[LMB] What makes a character irredeemable?

Raye Johnsen raye_j at yahoo.com
Mon Jul 29 08:04:53 BST 2019

Beatrice Otter <beatrice_otter at zoho.com> wrote:
> But I'm not sure that "redemption" is the right category.  It's a very
> Christian-centric idea, and I say that as a Christian myself. Christians
> assume that sin is what determines one's fate after death, and that
> sinners must be redeemed/forgiven by God or they go to hell.
Joel Polowin <jpolowin at hotmail.com> wrote:> The responses I've seen here seem to be leaning in the direction of> "what, in *your* eyes, put Dondo in that category?" rather than "what> do you think made him unacceptable to the gods?" 
What *I* consider made him irredeemable was, not just the fact that he was utterly and completely selfish, but the fact that he refused every chance and every choice to be more.  He had the option to be a good, reliable, or at least effective mentor to Teidez, and he chose to be venial, self-serving and lead Teidez into harm.  He had the option to be a fiance to Iselle who was worthy of her respect, and he did not choose to be so.  He had the option to choose to be a good brother to Martinez, and he did not.  Heck, years before the story in the book even happened, Dondo had the option to be an honourable, or even dutiful, commander to Caz.  He did not, and in fact chose to sell him into slavery rather than be so.
And I think that *that* is what made him irredeemable to the gods.  Not his sins, and not the fact that he was sinful, but that every time, when given the choice to either do or be good/respectable/kind/unselfish/generous/grow or otherwise, he chooses otherwise.  Caz describes the Daughter's Realm as a beautiful garden, with souls opening like flowers before her.  Ista describes the Father's Realm to Arhys as a great feast, with guests open and enjoying the Father's (and, by implication, other souls') company.  The common thread is *openness* - open to the gods, open to each other, open to life and love and all good things.  Dondo is not just closed, he refuses to open - and *that*, I think, is what makes him irredeemable.  He is irredeemable because he refuses to be redeemable.

raye_j at yahoo.com 
I believe in dragons, unicorns, good men and other mythical creatures.

More information about the Lois-Bujold mailing list